Back in April, the USTA has published an update on the status of the US Open that – as you might expect – they hope to hold as planned. The update touched on the proposals to hold the tournament in November at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, pointing out why they won’t work. Today, the US Open is set to proceed as planned, starting on August 31… but it may start without the Big Three – Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic – present.
The main concern for some players is traveling to New York and then back to Europe. When arriving in the US, players will have to stay isolated for a period of time before they’ll be allowed to roam free – and play. The problem is, they’ll have to do the same when returning to Europe.
Considering the short time between the US Open and the French Open – there is a week between the end of the New York event and the beginning of Roland-Garros – many players are reluctant to risk missing out on the competition due to quarantine. And you can’t blame them, considering that the situation is about as unpredictable as a slot machine at the Vegas Palms Online Casino.
World #1 Novak Djokovic considers the health protocols planned for the US open to be “extreme”. “We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week,” he told Prva TV in Serbia, cited by the BBC. “Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible. “I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist”.
Nadal is also reluctant to travel to New York to defend his US Open title. “If you asked me if I want to travel to New York today to play a tennis tournament, I will say no – I will not,” he said. “My feeling is we need to be responsible, sending strong messages, and be a positive example for society. We need to understand we are suffering an unprecedented situation and my feeling is we need to come back when all the players, from all the countries of the world, are able to travel under safe circumstances. I want to see my sport being 100% fair and correct.”
Sources are speaking of Roger Federer also being on the fence about going to New York this summer.
The US Open is scheduled to begin on August 31, as planned. A lot depends, in turn, on how the public health crisis evolves. It is a good sign that New York City is starting to reopen, with retailers allowed to go back to business and other non-essential companies also allowed to resume their operations. The USTA is expected to publish updates about the event in the coming weeks – until then, let’s keep our fingers crossed.